Devadatta although joined the Sangha, he could never attain Nirvana. His hard work never bore fruit and so he started working on psychic powers. Here, he attained success but his power only ruined him further as he now aimed to gain worldly fame. His jealousy towards Buddha took the shape of animosity and soon his only aim was to kill Gautam Buddha.
The First Attempt
As shown in the Zee TV Buddha, Devadatta as a monk attracted lot of followers for himself after adapting strict rules. It was due to this, he wanted to become a leader of the Sangha. And so when the opportunity came in the form of an assembly when all the kings and nobles gathered, Devadatta quickly asked Buddha to make him the Sangha leader. Perhaps the over confident Devadatta was of the opinion that Buddha would oblige his request. However, Buddha thought Devadatta wasn’t capable to become the leader, and declined his requested.
This infuriated Devadatta. Next, he vowed to take a revenge on Buddha with the help of Ajatashatru. A man was appointed to kill Buddha. The plot was well planned. The man who would kill Buddha would then be killed by 2 people. These 2 assassins would be then killed by 4 people and these 4 men finally will be slaughtered by 8 other men.
When the day came the first man went to kill Buddha. However, instead of killing him he became his disciple and follower of Buddha. Ultimately all the remaining 14 people who were in the cycle of killing became the Buddha disciples and the plan of killing Buddha failed.
Plan No. 2
Next time Devadatta thought of killing the Buddha all by himself. This time he did not hire anybody. So, when Buddha, the Blessed One was passing from the Vulture’s rock, Devadatta standing on the peak above it rolled down a boulder. Fortunately, the stone did not hit Buddha, it miraculously banged with another stone and only its sparkle injured the Buddha’s foot. Blood started oozing out. When Buddha turned his head above, he could see Devadatta there. He only pitied Devadatta for his shallow behaviour.
Attempt Three – The Last Try
Nalagiri was a famous man killer elephant. Devadatta’s plan was to first madden the elephant by making him consume alcohol and then let it move in the direction of Buddha. Fully drunk, the moment Nalagiri saw Buddha coming he raised his trunk and started walking towards him. The moment Nalagiri was in front of Buddha, Gautam Buddha stroked the elephant’s trunk lovingly. His kindness and love towards the dangerous animal even tamed the wild beast. Such was the power of Buddha’s metta (love and kindness)
Nalagiri with his trunk then, removed the dust from Buddha’s feet and behaved as a tamed pet of Buddha. We all have known from time immemorial that a mad elephant is very dangerous – only weapons, arms and artillery can control them. However, the way the Buddha controlled Nalagiri, further proves his power – eventually teaching us the universal language of love and kindness, which even a blind can see and a deaf can hear.
Devadatta failed in all his three attempts!
With Inputs from Buddha.net, A Record of Buddhistic kingdoms; being an account by the Chinese monk FA-HIEN of his travels in India and Ceylon, Buddhist Saints in India – A Study in Buddhist Values & Orientations A condemned Saint: Devadatta
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